White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

Investigation into the viability of silver-N-heterocyclic carbenes as a class of chemotherapeutic agents

Abdelgawad, Heba Abdulla Mohamed Abuelmaaty (2016) Investigation into the viability of silver-N-heterocyclic carbenes as a class of chemotherapeutic agents. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

[img] Text (PDF)
H.A.M.A.Abdelgawad.pdf - Final eThesis - complete (pdf)
Restricted until 1 October 2020.

Request a copy


This thesis details the synthesis of various libraries of silver(I)-N-heterocyclic carbenes (Ag(I)-NHCs) that are derived from natural and/or biologically relevant non-toxic precursors. The complexes have been evaluated as potential classes of chemotherapeutic agents. Furthermore, the use of polymers for encapsulating the Ag(I)-NHC complexes was investigated for drug-delivery, and a unique biological membrane has been used to examine the interaction of the complexes with a membrane monolayer. Ag(I)-NHC complexes derived from the xanthine precursors caffeine, theophylline and theobromine were evaluated for anticancer activity against eight cancerous cell lines, revealing IC50 values in the micromolar range. Hydrophobicity measurements revealed that a fine balance of steric bulk around the Ag-carbene bond and water solubility of the complex is required for the antiproliferative activity. Complexes derived from the antifungal compound clotrimazole were prepared. Various trends are discussed which relate cytotoxicity to hydrophobicity, N-substitution on the carbene ligand, counteranions, and substitution on the phenyl ring of clotrimazole. Selectivity ratios for these complexes were calculated which revealed that complexes with N-hydroxyethyl substituents on the ligand, which exhibit IC50 values similar to those obtained for cisplatin, had excellent selectivity. Water-soluble complexes bearing alcohol or carboxylic acid N-substituents on the ligand were prepared from biologically relevant precursors. Hydrophobicity measurements and in vitro cytotoxicity studies revealed similar hydrophobicity-cyctotoxicity trends to those obtained for the clotrimazole-derived complexes. Overall, the results indicate that intermediate lipophilicity is results in high antiproliferative activity. Encapsulation of the Ag(I)-NHC complexes inside polymers via different routes was investigated using non-toxic polyethylene glycol (PEG)-based polymers. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies suggested successful encapsulation and/or coordination of the complexes with the particles. In some cases, it was found that the cytotoxicity of the complexes increased upon encapsulation with a polymer. Various Ag(I)-NHCs were screened using a unique biological sensor that detects the interaction of the complexes with a membrane monolayer. The results gave insight into the possible mechanism of action of the complexes through their ability to interact with biological membranes. Further development of this technique may provide a valuable pre-screen for drug molecules, prior to more costly and time consuming cell work.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Related URLs:
Keywords: Silver, N-heterocyclic carbenes, Anticancer, chemotherapeutic agents
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences (Leeds) > School of Chemistry (Leeds)
Depositing User: Miss H.A.M.A Abdelgawad
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2016 11:16
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2018 09:16
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/14300

Please use the 'Request a copy' link(s) above to request this thesis. This will be sent directly to someone who may authorise access.
You can contact us about this thesis. If you need to make a general enquiry, please see the Contact us page.

Actions (repository staff only: login required)